On the morning of surgery, a patient should always expect to see his/her surgeon before actually being taken to the operating room.
When should I get a second opinion?
In this era of connectivity, a patient should ideally research his/her diagnosis and establish a personal assessment as to the different approaches to treatment.
A request for a second opinion is never viewed as threatening and is encouraged.
What questions should I ask my surgeon or doctor before my procedure?
I always encourage patients to ask questions about anything they have a concern about during a preoperative visit. Patients are provided literature regarding their condition as well as the scheduled surgery.
When is surgery the best treatment and is it necessary?
Often, a visit to the surgeon does not necessarily yield a surgical recommendation; many conditions are amenable to conservative remedies. Surgery is ultimately arrived upon as a strategy if three conditions are satisfied:
- If there is a true indication for the operation.
- If the benefits outweigh the risks.
- There is a true, expected return for the patient relative to the investment of surgery.
What are the risks of anesthesia?
Often, patients can meet with one of the anesthesia providers prior to surgery to specifically address anesthetic concerns; this should be sought as it also serves as a chance to discern other possible issues that may otherwise and unexpectedly effect surgical outcome.
How can family and friends best help people preparing for surgery?
Prior to surgery, a prospective patient is scheduled for a preoperative visit. A loved one or confidant should accompany the patient to that visit. It’s helpful to have someone who is also hearing what is being said, ask questions and be a sounding board after the visit.
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